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Ryan M, Moloney R. and Deegan J.;
Global Business & Economics Anthology
A Factor Analysis of the North American Coach Tour Sector in Ireland
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The objective of this paper is to identify the most significant travel behaviours and characteristics of North American coach tourists visiting Ireland. The data, identifying travel behaviours and characteristics, such as travel constraints, motivation, activities, accommodation attributes, life focus and personality traits was elucidated from questionnaires distributed to North American coach tourists who visited Ireland between June 2008 and March 2009. The rationale for analysing coach tourists is based on their growth in recent years. The method used is Factor Analysis. It identifies the most significant factors that have common characteristics amongst the tourists. Results show, over 59% of the coach tourists surveyed are under 65 years. Coach tourists are largely active individuals showing a strong preference for cycling and watersports. Tourists tend to be culturally aware and are drawn to historical destinations. They have a desire to learn new things. Fear of terrorism is their main travel constraint. They focus on sharing their beliefs with others. They are independent and family orientated.  Those surveyed also keep up with new trends, while traditional values are also important to them. These findings suggest tourism policies can now be directed more succinctly to cater for a specific type of coach tourist visiting Ireland rather than supplying a generic tourist product. The findings reveal the future niche market potential of coach tourism. Seven niche markets are identified. These markets are physically active tours, the spa retreat tours, the spiritual tourist, historical coach tours, the health conscious coach tourist, the adult-only coach tourist and the family oriented coach tourist.

ISSN: 1553-1392
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